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Analysis of the form, essence and function of traditional Confucian ‘ritual’

Chen Panli, Cai Jiafeng
80,00 ₽

UDC 30.2
DOI 10.20339/AM.05-24.107


Chen Panli,
Postgraduate student at the Department of Philosophy of Language and Communication
Faculty of Philosophy
Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), e-mail:

Cai Jiafeng,
PhD student of School of Foreign Studies
Southeast University, Nanjing, China;
Visiting PhD at the Department of Languages
Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia



Confucianism has been the main culture of China for thousands of years, and ‘li 禮 (ritual)’ is one of the core concepts of Confucianism. ‘Ritual’ also plays a central role in shaping the culture and character of the Chinese nation. In the context of today’s boom in Chinese Studies, a detailed study of the ideas that shape Chinese culture, a civilized and harmonious society that seeks to preserve Confucian ‘rituals’ is necessary. This article is based on the study of the sentences of “Li Ji (Book of Ritual)”, one of the main canons of Confucianism, and “Lun Yu (Conversations and Judgments)”, one of the “Four Books” of Confucianism, and conducts a comprehensive and detailed study of “li 禮 (ritual )”, one of the main categories of traditional Confucianism from three aspects: its content, essence and function. This is the novelty of this article: the study of ‘ritual’ is not limited to the superficial etiquette system and norms (the so-called “300 items of etiquette and 3000 specific rules of etiquette”), but studies its essence and function, which leads to the conclusion: The ethical and moral society created by Confucian ‘rituals’ is very comprehensive and regulates all aspects of people’s social life. Its essence is the hierarchical principle of ethical relations, as well as the institutionalization and standardization of moral emotions inherent in people. And it serves as a tool for governing the country and a measure of the civilization.

Keywords: history of Chinese philosophy, traditional Confucianism, Confucius, li 禮 (ritual), “Li ji (Book of rituals)”, “Lun Yu (Conversations and judgments)”



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